Bring on Big Brother
According to Gwynne Dyer (NOW, December 21-27), British Environment Secretary David Miliband plans a pilot project next year on carbon credit use. Everyone would have a CO2 allowance; their emissions would be tracked through their purchases of products that required CO2 use (e.g. driving, air travel etc). The idea is to encourage minimal carbon dioxide use and reduce global warming.
To some, this smacks of Brave New World, where Big Brother Government notes every purchase and scolds us accordingly. First smoking, now this.
A more positive glance at the plan suggests that while it will especially delight (and benefit) walkers, transit-takers, non-flyers and grimy Toronto bike couriers, controlling CO2 emissions will be good for everybody in the long term.
Some of us bike all year; most of us can walk all year, if we choose. We all say we want clean air. Our children will certainly appreciate a Brave New World, one without the irony.
Screw Christmas trees
Thanks to David Hazell for his letter, O Tannenbaum (NOW, December 21-27), attacking the judge who removed the Christmas tree from the front of her courthouse. His letter shows, with exquisite clarity, why she was right to do so.
Christmas greetings don't offend me - not when offered in the right spirit. Neither do Christmas carols, Christmas trees, etc. But Hazell's letter exemplifies the wrong spirit.
He is clearly one of those Christianists who use their religion as a weapon. Their attitude is, "This country belongs to us, and if you are not one of us you are here on sufferance. We can do what we like to you, and you have no right to try to stop us." If that is what a Christmas tree means, then we should never have one in any public place.
Really, the cops lied?
RE Mouldy Myths (NOW, December 7-13). Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute.... Is Matt Mernagh suggesting that police may have exaggerated something pertaining to marijuana?
Well, consider the following. They say that each pot plant, even if it is a 4-inch-tall seedling, is "worth $1,000 on the street." This is much like saying that a pile of car parts is actually a $20,000 car. It is exaggeration bordering on fabrication. I will concede that one terrible side effect of marijuana is how it robs police of their ability to tell the truth.
Medical Marijuana Licence Holder
Jack don't know squat
Letters was edited to remove a hoax letter - 2006-12-28 5:00pm
Spies among us
The Toronto Police's planned spy cam program, soon to invade our public spaces, is a slippery slope into a total Big Brother society. There's been little public awareness and practically no debate about the issue, and the benefits of spy cams have been significantly overstated, while the associated risks are much greater.
In London, spy cams have not led to the capture of a single bomber. British private surveillance images have ended up on the Internet. Abuses can easily occur if an outside party doesn't monitor the police.
A new report from a former Supreme Court of Canada judge commissioned by [former privacy commissioner George] Radwanski states that the use of public surveillance cameras violates the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms.
The right to privacy is a fundamental human right and one that should not be treated lightly. The use of spy cams treats everyone as a potential criminal.
Zambonis ain't the problem
Adria Vasil's article about zambonis (NOW, December 21-27) and the pollution they create is ridiculous. It was a bad idea to even give it space in NOW. Hockey rinks are the cultural and physical nerve centre of our country. Distractions like this take away from our culture's main problem: reliance on the automobile!
Say yes to hockey and no to cars!
Give us that raise, Santa
The mpps in my country want a 25 per cent increase in pay when the living wage is so low. What I'd like for Christmas is a decrease in pay for MPPs, then give the money to single parents so we can live, too, and provide a safe environment for my three children and I.
Single dad, Toronto
Many, many thanks for the early Christmas present! The cover shot of Edward Norton (NOW, December 21-27) was amazing. It is rare these days to see someone like Norton who can convey such overwhelming sex appeal without resorting to taking his clothes off! Thanks again!
RE Genevieve Grenon's letter about the Silver Spoon (NOW, December 21-27). I agree that it isn't nice at all (nor wise) to turn people down for their favourite dessert, especially if the restaurant is almost empty, but what does it have to do with being "two young, well-travelled professionals"?
Ode to religion
Looking over the past year and what made the news, I would like to make a few comments.
I'm sick of Christians and I'm sick of Jews. And I'm sick of Muslims and Hindus. I'm sick of Moses and Yahweh and the Pope. I'm sick of Jesus as my only hope. I'm sick of Krishna and Buddha. I'm sick of Moses, Muhammad and Allah. I'm sick of evolution vs. creationism. I'm sick of human degradation. I'm sick of abortion and I'm sick of rape. I'm sick of love and I'm sick of hate. Happy New Year.